After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”– John 11:11 NIV
The story of Lazarus is an interesting one. Jesus was told that His dear friend was ill, yet He did not immediately go to his aide. It is written “Lord, the one you love is sick”. Instead, Jesus allowed Lazarus to suffer and die. Two days passed before Jesus decided it was time to go to Lazarus. Two more days would pass for travel.
Why? Why did Jesus allow such a terrible thing to happen to someone He called His friend? Why did Jesus allow someone He Loved so dearly to suffer and die? Not only did Lazarus suffer, but Mary and Martha suffered watching their brother die. The pain of losing a loved one can be overwhelming. Especially knowing that Jesus, the one person they believed in, had faith in, did nothing to help His beloved friends in their darkest hour.
Today is a suffering of global proportions. Millions upon millions suffering in some form or another. Hundreds of thousands of people suffering and dying from this virus alone. People required to isolate, people are afraid and overwhelmed with uncertainty. In certain areas looting has started, increased drunkenness, increased violence, decreased compassion and kindness. Humanity is reaching new lows.
I’m sure many are saying, “Where is Jesus?” Where is He and why is He allowing such a terrible thing to happen. Mary and Martha had similar questions, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15 NIV
Jesus also calls us “friends”. Like Jesus’ friend Lazarus, many have fallen asleep. They have allowed the busyness of their daily lives to draw them away from the relationship with God. A relationship that God so richly desires and justly deserves. Jesus suffered so much pain, humiliation, torcher, punishment and death for that relationship.
Though so many are asleep, God is not. His promises are the same today as they were yesterday and will be tomorrow. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for nothing. All that Jesus suffered was for a purpose. It was a gift from God, reconciling us to himself through Christ.
Just as Jesus did for Lazarus, He will do for us at Gods appointed time. He allows suffering but will come to alleviate us at the appointed time. Our moments of waiting are faith building times. God has alleviated us of our busyness and our distractions, to encourage us to sincerely seek Him and establish or reestablish our relationship with Him.
Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” – Ephesians 5:14 NIV
We’ve read and heard, “I can’t wait until things go back to normal”, but is normal what we really need? Our wakeup call is upon us. It’s an opportunity to shed our grave clothing stained with foolishness and selfishness. Rising into the people worthy of being called sons and daughters of God. Then, God will receive His overdue glory and Gods Son will be glorified through it.
Blessings, Michael Woo